County Durham School Cancels Trip Over Ebola Fears

The head of a primary school in Howden-le-Wear has called off an exchange visit from a Ghanaian teacher after parents expressed concerns about Ebola.

That's despite the country having no known cases.

Howden-le-Wear Primary School was due to welcome the teacher as part of an annual programme with a school in Ghana.

After parents expressed concerns about the visit by a male teacher from the Great Commission Academy, Howden-le-Wear head Christopher Baines wrote to them explaining that it would be safe.

They were told that flights from Ghana to the UK were unaffected, that the country has no Ebola outbreak and that the school had taken advice from health organisations.

One mother said some parents would consider keeping their children off school if the exchange was not called off.

Amid continuing concerns from local people, the planned visit to the village school with 87 pupils was postponed.

In a statement, Mr Baines said:
"The British Council Connecting Classroom visits have always been an exciting, positive and enriching experience for our pupils, wider school community and visitors from our partner school.

To ensure that this remains the case, the governing body has taken the decision this afternoon to postpone the visit until a later date.

We have listened carefully to concerns raised by all sections of the school and community and have balanced these with the expert advice we have been given.

Whist we are confident this advice remains sound we feel the best thing to do, at this time, is to look forward to the visit at a later date.''

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